David McGlynn: The Door in the Ocean

Gen-X author David McGlynn (End of the Straight and Narrow) has an obsession with water reminiscent of the way William Faulkner loves Mississippi — it inspires admiration and a little fear. Swimming is his metaphor for youth, life, sex and loss. It’s his calling card, small and personal but elegantly engraved on fine card stock. He teaches English lit and creative writing at Wisconsin’s Lawrence University, and his latest book is a memoir of his teen years in Houston, A Door in the Ocean, which features many scenes that take place in pools or at the beach.

When McGlynn was in high school, his best friend and swim team buddy was murdered, along with his friend’s father and brother. McGlynn had been talking to him on the phone not 20 minutes before the execution-style hit. The triple murder has never been solved. For a time, McGlynn found solace in evangelical Christianity, traveling as a missionary, but this isolation proved unfulfilling. Maureen Corrigan at NPR called his newest work ''a compelling coming-of-age story, one marked by random tragedy and biblical tracts, bad church coffee and chlorine.'' Meet McGlynn and hear him read excerpts from his book.
Thu., Aug. 30, 7 p.m., 2012


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